The Heritage Lottery Fund has confirmed funding for a three-year programme of projects, events, education and training on the Suffolk Heritage Coast.
Touching The Tide is a £900,000 HLF Landscape Partnership Scheme covering 125 square kilometres along the Suffolk coast, between Covehithe and Felixstowe. The project is being led by the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in partnership with a wide range of local organisations and individuals in addition to local authorities and statutory agencies.
The project aims to encourage people to care actively for their coast, promoting awareness and understanding of the area and conserving what makes the Suffolk coast, one of the most rapidly changing in Europe, so special.
Touching The Tide will include salt marsh restoration projects and work to protect vegetated shingle at Shingle Street, Aldeburgh and Orford Ness, as well as revealing the military and social history of the Martello towers and the wider military heritage of the area.
HLF’s Landscape Partnership grant programme, which has been running for nine years, helps conserve some of the UK’s most diverse and locally distinctive landscapes by supporting schemes that provide long-term social, economic and environmental benefits for rural areas. It is the most significant grant scheme available for landscape-scale projects, says HLF, and is at the cutting edge of delivery.
Touching The Tide will work with a group of enthusiastic local people to mark the decommissioning of Orford Lighthouse, support a wide range of heritage-focused arts projects, work with local organisations and schools, and create new opportunities to enjoy the coast and find out more about its history. There will also be community archaeology projects where people can get their hands dirty doing real archaeology.
In particular, Touching the Tide will work with partners and communities to improve understanding and appreciation of coastal change, aiming to discover new ways of working to deal with the challenge of coastal change and how it will determine the future of the landscape.
Stuart Hobley, HLF development manager for the east of England says: ‘The Suffolk Coast is such an extraordinary area; an ever-changing coastline which has such a personal connection to the communities who live, work and visit there. Our funding will help more people to experience and understand the historic environment around them.’